Stardust - The Asteroid and Space Debris Network

main content

Advanced research network on asteroid and space debris manipulation

Asteroids and space debris represent a significant hazard for space and terrestrial assets; at the same time asteroids represent also an opportunity. In recent years it has become clear that the increasing population of space debris could lead to catastrophic consequences in the near term. The Kessler syndrome (where the density of objects in orbit is high enough that collisions could set off a cascade) is more realistic than when it was first proposed in 1978. Although statistically less likely to occur, an asteroid impact would have devastating consequences for our planet. Although an impact with a large (~10 km) to medium (~300 m) sized, or diameter, asteroid is unlikely, still it is not negligible as the recent case of the asteroid Apophis has demonstrated. Furthermore impacts with smaller size objects, between 10 m to 100 m diameter, are expected to occur more frequently and hence are, proportionally, equally dangerous for humans and assets on Earth and in space.

Stardust is a unique training and research network devoted to develop and master techniques for asteroid and space debris monitoring, removal/deflection and exploitation. Stardust will train the next generation of engineers, scientists and decision makers to protect our planet, save our space assets, and turn the threat represented by asteroids and space debris in an opportunity. Stardust will push the boundaries of space research with innovative ideas and visionary concepts. It will integrate multiple disciplines, from robotics, to applied mathematics, from computational intelligence to astrodynamics, to find practical and effective solutions to the asteroid and space debris issue.

The scientific program focuses on a number of underpinning areas of research and development that are fundamental to any future and present initiative aiming at mitigating the threat posed by asteroids and space debris, and is divided into three major research areas: Modelling and Simulation, Orbit and Attitude Estimation and Prediction, and Active Removal/Deflection of Uncooperative Targets.

Funded by

EC Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN)




Want to know more?


Follow us on Twitter, and stay up to date with latest news and developments. 



First Global Virtual Workshop - Extended deadlines

Deadline for extended abstract submission has been extended to 15 March. Read more ...

Special Issue on Advances in Asteroid and Space Debris Science and Technology

Papers are invited for a special topic issue of Advances in Space Research (ASR) entitled “Advances in Asteroid and Space Debris Science and Technology”. Read more ...

DFKI news on the Stardust Opening Training School

Europas Nachwuchswissenschaftler erforschen sichere Entsorgung von Weltraumschrott – Öffentliche Vorträge in Glasgow. Read more...

First Global Virtual Workshop- Call for Contributions

Contributions for the First Global Virtual Workshop (SGVW-1), which will be held at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow on 7-9 May 2014, are now accepted. Read more ...

Projects for Working Groups- Call for Ideas 

The Opening Training School is approaching, and is the first occasion for the newly recruited ESRs to meet and start working together. Three cross-disciplinary projects will be given at the OTS, one for each Working Group. At this stage we would like to open a call for ideas. Read more...